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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Feb 11 at 9:52 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2011, it's almost spring so hopefully this will be a new beginning for all of us.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 2011 Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be £1 a week or £20 a week.

    If you are currently spending £200 a month don't suddenly drop it to £100 - you'll never do it but if you cut £20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is £80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on £80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5, #6, #7 and #8 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 11
    • never too old
    • By never too old 2nd Mar 11, 10:02 AM
    • 2,941 Posts
    • 31,159 Thanks
    never too old
    Well done you Penny
    jammydodger Sorry to read about cat hun

    Well, my eggs were fine, so a NSD here

    Can I ask what people use to make their shortcrust pastry with? I know my oven is playing up, and has been for several months, but I don't seem to be able to make a decent pastry -or at least pastry for a quiche - to save my life lately.

    I've used ½ Marge & Lard all my adult life, but was just wondering what everyone else uses? as regardless of handling as little as poss, keeping my hands & kitchen cool, and chilling 30mins before rolling out, it still shrinks and is as tough as old boots

    Yet the pastry I made for my pasties on Saturday, whereas not as good as I used to make, wasn't bad at all. And interestingly, on Saturday I used MgD0ugals flour which I bought a while back when it was on offer. Have used McD0ugalls all my adult life too, but in and effort to cut down, have been using SM Smart Price Flour.....hmmm maybe I've answered my own question there...perhaps it's the flour??
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    i made pastry last night for my chicken pie, 8 0z flour ( basic mr t)
    2 0z lard and 2 oz marg, all whizzed in mixer and cold water added then chilled in fridge, so sounds exactly same as you had no complaints at dinner last night,

    well done NickJW it must be an amazing feelingx
    Last edited by never too old; 02-03-2011 at 10:06 AM.
    £2019 in 2019 challenge no 18
    1% challenge no 70
    2019 Frugal Living Challenge

    £1711.95 / 2019
    0%/100%
  • sazzledazzle
    Spent another £3.90 last night in Mr S after dropping the OH off to watch the footie. It was all cleaning stuff on offer so dont mind and we needed it all. Hopefully a NSD today.
    MAY NSD's

    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 2nd Mar 11, 10:25 AM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    findingmyfeet
    just done my first shop for march, slightly more than i wanted but had to buy washpowder, dishwasher stuff etc as all ran out at the same time. will have to keep my eye on that one and try to stock up /stagger the buying.

    spent £60.37 in a*di and had a great trolley full. plenty for this week and some for the store cupboard too.

    been given a load of carrots so tonights meal im trying carrot and coriander soup and hm breadrolls/garlic or cheesy bread to go with it. minus the cream though as the dreaded diet has commenced!...been putting it off since new year
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- £306.68 2012-£304.36 2013- £387.44 2014 - £441.43 £482.30
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 2nd Mar 11, 10:31 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    Great Idea! I've never actually thought of doing a 4 week meal plan, although do a weekly one. Do you find you're eating the same things a few times that month though?

    Re the Breadmaker - 'touch wood' this mornings has gone according to plan! I just put the water in first etc and left the yeast on top, so far it looks good and has actually mixed well, yesterdays was a pile of yucky mush at this stage, but has about an hour left to bake yet.
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r
    i have never done a link before so here goes ---> 4wk meal plan
    it is a really good chance to try new recipes. and if you are stuck for inspiration there are threads on mse where people post their weekly plans so if you do a quick search you should find one of them. HTH.
    DFBX2016 #160 - £3550/£8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - £0/£11,378

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    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 2nd Mar 11, 10:33 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    i have never done a link before so here goes ---> 4wk meal plan
    it is a really good chance to try new recipes. and if you are stuck for inspiration there are threads on mse where people post their weekly plans so if you do a quick search you should find one of them. HTH.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    IT WORKED!!!! theres hope for me yet
    so the only thing that has been repeated in the 4wks is curry cos OH loves the stuff. but i make it in the SC now and you get atleast 4 helpings from it so i can freeze two for next time.
    happy planning!!!!
    DFBX2016 #160 - £3550/£8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - £0/£11,378

    £0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) £0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    £820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) £0/£795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 2nd Mar 11, 10:45 AM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    laineyc
    Hello everyone. The sun is trying to break through the clouds.

    I had a busy morning. First I went to youngest DS's assembly then off to Lidl's and Wilkinsons. I some veg and other bits. I bought a rake at Wilko's. I was lucky to get home without injuring someone!

    I am having a wee break then I have to boil a ham then make some soup. I should have plenty ham left to freeze for pies, etc. I hope to bake some choc chip cookies but they may have to wait until after the school run.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 2nd Mar 11, 11:00 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    Hello everyone. The sun is trying to break through the clouds.

    I had a busy morning. First I went to youngest DS's assembly then off to Lidl's and Wilkinsons. I some veg and other bits. I bought a rake at Wilko's. I was lucky to get home without injuring someone!

    I am having a wee break then I have to boil a ham then make some soup. I should have plenty ham left to freeze for pies, etc. I hope to bake some choc chip cookies but they may have to wait until after the school run.
    Originally posted by laineyc
    what ham do you use? a piece of gammon? and how long do you boil it for? i have only ever roasted gammon (or fried/grilled steaks) so would be interested to know how you boil it?

    thanks.
    DFBX2016 #160 - £3550/£8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - £0/£11,378

    £0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) £0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    £820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) £0/£795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 2nd Mar 11, 11:52 AM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    debtfreewannabe321
    Hi everyone am back from my weekly shop, already had veg & fruit and today went to A$da and spent £66.44 which i thought was pretty good i bought a HUGE gammon joint which was reduced from £15!! to £8.38 so as I type that is in the slow cooker, will slice that later and use for sandwiches and also meals (slices of gammon) can anyone tell me is it ok to freeze once cooked, does it defrost ok and taste the same?? AND if anyone has any other meal ideas please share (this joint is HUGE and atm there is only me & two little ones at home lol)

    Also got a brisket of beef which i was planning on slow cooking also and using as slices in a noodle dish, again small slices for the fridge and for a roast...would this also be ok to use in a stew if already cooked? or should I cut it in half and use the half for stew from raw? if you see what i mean?

    I got 2 large chickens also -one in oven now for curry/roast and sandwiches, and other in freezer (for when MIL comes to visit next week) AND i am going to attempt to make sausage rolls with some sausage meat i bought I hope it turns out ok I'm not much of a cook!

    Stocked up on tins & sauces (really should learn to make my own but they are so cheap i think s*d it can't be bothered)

    Anyway a good shop I thought and hopfully should make plenty of meals to freeze, and so hoping i can get a cheap shop next week -we shall see though lol
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 (Emergency..target #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 2nd Mar 11, 11:56 AM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    debtfreewannabe321
    what ham do you use? a piece of gammon? and how long do you boil it for? i have only ever roasted gammon (or fried/grilled steaks) so would be interested to know how you boil it?

    thanks.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    I use a gammon ham and boil for around an hour and half (this is usually the smaller £4-5 joint. There are instructions on the back of the pack usually i think...I usually stick a fork or something in after an hour or so and if it's done it will go straight through no toughness, I also turn it in the pan half way through as i never seem to have a big enough pan to cover it entirely with water lol.
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 (Emergency..target #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 2nd Mar 11, 1:11 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    laineyc
    It's gammon. I boil it with onion, carrots and cloves. I will bake it this evening glazed with honey.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
  • Princesslauraliz
    Hi everyone

    Hope everyone is well – I’m sorry to say I haven’t been on the forums for a few weeks as I’ve been so busy at work and socially, which probably explains why I went over budget in February – so I am confessing to having spent £177.71 out of my £150 – bad lizzygirl!!!

    Anyway – onwards and upwards – please can you put me down for £112.50 for March’s challenge – we will be away at the end of the month and therefore should be trying to use up what food we have in the cupboards instead of buying more!! Well that’s the intention anyway!!

    Definitely going to try and pop onto the forums a bit more this month as it seems to keep me on the straight and narrow when I read everyone’s posts.

    Good luck for March’s challenge – we can do it!!!
    go to the graze website and enter this code: 4LKM1R3B to get your first graze box free and the second half price!!
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 2nd Mar 11, 1:33 PM
    • 651 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    Chloris
    Another NSD here. Dh will do the weeks shop after the children are in bed tonight, but as none of it is going to be eaten today I shall count it as tomorrow. I will be checking I have written down everything I need, everything. I don't want to have to pop to the shops until the weekend or early next week.

    Pastry: 8oz plain flour, 4oz butter, pinch of salt, splash of cold water. I roll it to fit in quiche tin, cover and rest in fridge 30mins then chuck fillings in and bake. I cba baking blind. With my leftover pastry trimmings I add some grated cheese and dried sage, roll out, cut into cute rounds, brush with milk and bake. Very nice. DD loves them in her packed lunch box. HTH
    • kittypimms
    • By kittypimms 2nd Mar 11, 1:49 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    kittypimms
    Hello all,

    NSD yesterday (woop!) but today we're off the mark at the House of Pimms. £3.53 in Al*i, and £13.10 in The As*a. More than I wanted to spend, but needed loo roll (£5), and some of the £2 cheese.
    Crikey - why is it so difficult to buy cheap loo roll... they really need to price per sheet, rather than per roll!! I look like a very odd person indeed, manhandling various squishy packages in order to ascertain paperthickness vs tubeiness. Eeep.

    And while I'm having a bit of a moan, there were no SP loose apples in the As*a, so bought 2 (2!!) Golden Delish for 60p (60p!!!). Blimey. Should have gone back and bought them from the Al*i, but by then was loaded down with bags and all confused about loo roll...

    Lesson learned for next time though! Will poddle off and update sig now... and try not to complain as much next time!
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Good afternoon all

    Thought I would pop in with my first spend of the month -€39, although that includes 54lt sparkling water (and the deposits I will get back)... so not too bad for 5 days in ....so 4nsds so far
    Whilst I have a few minutes I will pop some more of the recipes I have concocted or adapted to make them SW friendly -hope they might be of use to someone....
    Well hubby will be back at work on friday after 2 weeks off, so I will hopefully get back into my routine then.

    I made a lovely frittata/tortilla yesterday using up:-
    • 2 sad leeks
    • an onion
    • a pointy red pepper
    • some very sorry asparagus
    • a pack of feta
    • and 7 eggs
    it made 6 nice servings and wow is it yummy.. I had it today with avocado and some cold tomatoes/onions I roasted in the remoska yesterday... was a little plate of yumminess . and hubby likes it too
    tonight is layered potatoes and onions in a lamb stock cube -sounds a bit plain -but it is one of my fave things (hubby has cornedbeef in his)... anyway -enough waffle I will get off and retrieve some recipes...
    Have a lovely day everyone...


    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • MRSMCAWBER
    SW cheese topped beef n potato layer recipe

    I made it up as I went along , so some of this might be a little vague -so you can adjust it to suit - but here goes....
    Cheese topped minced beef and potato layer
    serves 4 -generously



    free on EE if using cheese as HealthyA
    • 450g minced steak
    • 2 large onions chopped
    • 1 red pepper chopped
    • frozen mushrooms defrosted and squeezed out
    • 1tsp dried mixed herbs
    • 2 stock cubes -I use 1 beef/1 lamb
    • 1/2 carton passata
    • seasoning
    • sliced potatoes -I leave the skins on
    topping
    • 150g ff fromage frais
    • 150g quark -I used one with herbs in
    • 2 eggs
    • seasoning
    • 84g low fat cheddar -2 healthy As (1 for me n 1 for hubby )
    Now I made mine in the remoska -but you can just do it in a pan/oven so i will "do" it that way
    1. Seal the meat in a dry non stick pan
    2. add the onions and cook until translucent
    3. throw in the peppers and mushrooms and cook for approx 10 mins
    4. add the herbs and stock cubes and cook over a gentle heat for a couple of mins
    5. add the passata, stir well and leave to bubble away for about 10-15 mins -stiring occasionaly
    6. transfer into an oven proof dishe/dishes
    7. thinly slice the potatoes and arrange in layers on top of the mince -seaseon
    8. cover with foil and bake in a medium oven until the potatoes are tender
    9. remove the foil
    10. beat the quark, fromage frais, eggs and plenty of seasoning together
    11. pour over the potatoes
    12. bake for 10 mins
    13. add the grated cheese and bake until golden
    I made it sound quite long winded -but its really not... I just waffle
    We had ours with salad, so really it only uses 1/2 a HealthyA per serving-it is soooooooo tasty and filling, and of course you can make variations on it too -I mean when I think about it..you could swap the potatoes for cooked pasta mmm
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 2nd Mar 11, 1:55 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Gorgeestwo
    another nsd today

    Love that 4 wk meal plan, I wish I could be so organised, I struggle to do one for a week but I think I'm going to set aside an evening and go through the recipies at the beginning of this thread as there are some yummy sounding ones there, even if I only start off with 2 weeks at a time, it'll be a great way for me to get organised and for us to venture away for our usual things

    Thanks to everyone on this thread for their great tips, I know I'm not great with the tips lol but reading all the things you are all doing is inspiring me to stick at trying to cut our grocery spending down, so a massive thankyou
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.


  • mfwin2019
    Did big monthly shop yesterday in L*dl, 9*p shop,& Mr A so ended up spending £118 out of £185 monthly budget but I am well stocked up & it will just be milk & fruit & veg as I bought lots of meat to make slow cooker batches & flour etc for bread making. Also DH away with work for 2 weeks so that will be a lot less than normal needed.
    mfwin2019
    MFiT2 no 184
    Starting at £181,869Target is £150,000 achieved £147,772
    MFiT3 no 20
    Start £147,772 - £96924 July 2015 target £90'000
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 2nd Mar 11, 1:57 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Gorgeestwo
    Thats looks great Mrsmcawber, that'll definately be on my meal plan
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.


  • rachbc
    Today was planned to be a NSD but walked past the chinese supermarket and remembered we had no sweet chillis sauce -tomorrow is beef stir fry and dh addicted to sweet chilli sauce. Got a huge bottle for £1.65 - much cheaper (and nicer) than s'market stuff - also got cheap garlic, ginger and a jar of tom yum paste for noodle soups.
  • MRSMCAWBER
    SW luxury cauliflower cheese recipe
    Luxury cauliflower cheese
    serves 4
    1heA and 1.5 syns per serving


    cheese sauce was:-
    • 375ml semi (1.5x A) -warmed in a pan
    • 5tsp cornflour (5)let down with a drop of the cold milk
    • 1tsp English mustard (0.5)
    • 105g cathederal city lighter-or 70g full fat cheddar (2.5xA)
    • 4 spring onions -cut in chunks-optional
    • seasoning
    1. warm the milk
    2. stir in the cornflour and stir over the heat until thickened (don't try and do it to quickly as it may go gloopy)
    3. stir in the mustard, cheese and onions and stir to combine
    4. season to taste
    Then I lightly steamed (but you can adjust to suit):-
    • chunks of carrot
    • chunks of leek
    • cauliflower
    • broccoli
    let them go cold -gives them time to give off any liquid so your sauce doesn't go runny in the oven .
    Tip all the veg into an ovenproof dish, pour over the cheese sauce and bake until golden nomnomnom




    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
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